Carla Zaccagnini participates in the Nanjing International Art Festival

(Nanjing, China)

The Baijia Lake Museum presents the third Nanjing International Art Festival that will have around 800 works, covering various fields of contemporary art and performance media. The festival is going to have forty-two countries and regions ‘artists (groups) to participate in the theme section of  “Historicode: Scarcity and Supply”. Carla Zaccagnini, PIPA Prize 2012 nominee, will participate in the exhibition that has Lu Peng as general curator and Letizia Ragaglia as joint curator. This edition of the festival will open to the public on November 12th.


The Nanjing International Art Festival (NJIAF) is an annual art festival that takes place in Nanjing of the Jiangsu province in China. An hour in land from Shanghai, the festival is in the southern part of Nanjing around the Baijia Lake development. It is privately-run and funded by the Baijia Lake International Culture Investment Group, which act as a platform to support the development of artists and contribute to the growth of the art scene in Nanjing and China. The inaugural edition in 2014 was titled ‘Multiple Interpretation’, which included artists from over 20 countries. The second, 2015 edition, titled ‘ A Beautiful New World ‘, became more international with a presentation from 40 countries, each welcoming over 200,000 visitors. For the third edition, the festival will move from the The Nanjing International Exhibition Center to its new home, the Baijia Lake Museum.


Regardless of your viewpoint regarding the contemporary, it would be connected with your view of the Renaissance, because we have not completely emerged from Ruskin’s era, given that we still use the internal combustion engine and petroleum remains the main source of energy and may remain so for many years yet. A discussion of the correctness or otherwise of these two viewpoints is meaningless, because it would be swept aside in one fell swoop by Hegel’s dialectic. Yet in terms of observable facts, the whole of Asia is gradually reversing Ruskin, and for the last thirty years, an Asia that has seemed like a somewhat frozen world has become reactivated and is trying to establish new classical standards of beauty and excellence. Of course, the most recent situation is mainly attributable to the rise of China.


“The theme of this exhibition I am not attempting to propose a single direction in art, but rather to elucidate history and practical problems relating to art since the 1990s. As the general curator of this exhibition I am simply hoping, through my examination and personal views regarding the two sections titled “Review of Today’s Historical Background” and “HISTORICODE”, to provide approaches and guidelines for the exhibition judging committee and the participating artists: What are the issues in art that most concern us today? How do we regard previous “contemporary art” and historical factors that impact on contemporary art of? What are art’s tasks today? As the exhibition curator I do not seek to conceal my own view, which is that for a fairly long time contemporary art has been in the situation of “testing the water” (given its difficulty in rousing positive responses and ideas and thus its apparent lack of meaning), so that people have almost lost the curiosity and passion for art that they had prior to the 1980s.

It is possible that mankind has once again gone through a change of views regarding art, as happened in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and does the variety of views regarding the apparent prosperity of today’s contemporary art reflect an actual poverty of ideas? In a global age in which everything is seen to be determined by economic power, is the “prosperity” of art related to its “spiritual” lack? Or is it even possible to discuss art today using words such as “spiritual”? Is it even possible to speak of humanism supporting human civilization since the Renaissance or of the fate of traditional knowledge? HISTORICODE is concerned with the orientation of values and goals, these being the reason why humans continue to exist within a process of development, and it makes use of the economic terms “scarcity” (depression) and “supply” simply in the hope that these terms will hint at the present problems and how we confront them. In short, the following text elucidates the open-ended nature of the theme of the exhibition, which can be summarized as follows: If the creation of history continues to be our task, differentiating and analyzing the contemporary problems facing humankind and exploring what is constructive and possible are the artistic motives and themes of the art in this exhibition we hope to reveal.”

“Nanjing International Art Festival”
Curated by Lu Peng
Opening: November 12th
On view through February 12th, 2017

Baijia Lake Museum
Phoenix Mountain Art Park, 646 South General Road
Jiangning District, Nanjing
T: 400-025-7782 |

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